Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

List of Letters | About This Collection

Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to Lewis Burwell, December 18, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to his grandson, Lewis Burwell, then in England at school, December 18, 1727, to chide him for an unpleasant letter Burwell had written to his mother, and directing him to write an apologetic letter to his mother. Carter notes that he had opposed his daughter's second marriage, but her new husband "proves a very worthy kind husband to her" and that he and his daughter are reconciled. He informs Burwell that he is to be sent to Cambridge in the spring where he is to keep his expenses low and to study hard. He concludes with family news and his blessing.

Letter from Robert Carter to Lewis Burwell, December 18, 1727

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

Dec 18th: 1727

D[ea] r Lewis Burwell

     Some time ago I received a letter from you to wch.
[i] f I remember right I sent you an Answer the next you send I will hope will
be in a more Acceptable stile and writ in a better hand

     [Your] mother had very much di[s] abliged [sic] me in ma-

-2 -

rrying much against my inclination but it hath been her good
fortune to match with a gentleman that proves a very worthy kind
husband to her and she and I are perfectly reconciled it seems you have
writ a very unkind letter to her which Occasioned a great deal of dis
turbance to her repose Certainly you have not forgot the duty you
owe to your parent and are not so unlearned to be ignorant of the seven
Curses denounced by the Almighty against undetifull Children pray
write to her in another stile Acknowledge your fault and let her know
you are deeply Sorry for your youthfull imprudence in giving her
so much Uneasiness

     I have writ to Mr Perry to send you to Cambridge next spring
and have Earnestly desired him to be as frugal as it is possible with de
cency in your Expenses and I lay the same charge upon you Tobbo: is
at this time a very poor comodity and we have no other way to get
money by you have spent a great deal of money Already and your
improvement god knows very mean May you make a better use of
your time at the University I have been told from Several that have
been there £100 a year would maintain a youth tollerably well
if your Expences upon all Accounts exceed that sum £20 or £30
a year and no more I shall not find fault

     Your relations here are all in good health your
brother Carter I Expect to keep his Christmass with me I pray god
Grant you may Escape the vices of the age you are coming into and that
after all the money that hath been Spent upon your Education
you may prove a wise and good man to whose blessings I Commend
you who am

Your loving Grandfather


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter letter book, 1727 May-1728 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. There is a 19th-century transcript of the letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Robert Carter generally used a return address of "Rappahannock" for the river on which he lived rather than "Corotoman," the name of his home, on his correspondence, especially to persons abroad. The county and colony have been added for clarity.

[1] Lewis Burwell (1711 or 1712-1756), Carter's grandson by Elizabeth Carter Burwell and her first husband, Nathaniel Burwell (1680-1721) for whom Carter was guardian. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge, and inherited considerable property, living at "Fairfield," Gloucester County. He would be president of the Council in 1750-1751. (Kneebone et al. , Dictionary of Virginia Biography. 2:434-5. and Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 114. )

[2] Carter Burwell (1716-1756) was Robert Carter's grandson by his daughter Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell and her first husband, Nathaniel Burwell (1680-1721). Carter Burwell would live at "Carter's Grove," and would marry Lucy Grymes in 1738. (Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 128. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised August 4, 2014, to strengthen the modern language version text.